News | July 27, 2016

Distribution Richmond’s mapping division accountable officer retires after 42 years of federal service

By Brianne M. Bender DLA Distribution Public Affairs

Kenneth E. Hodge, accountable officer for DLA Distribution Richmond, Va., mapping division, will retire with 42 years of service to the federal government on July 31.

Initially, Hodge spent eight years serving the United States by serving in the Air Force’s strategic air command, during the Cold War era. At that time, his days were spent working on the missile systems of the B52 bomber.

“We kept four bombers on alert at all times and had to be ready to go to war on very short notice,” Hodge explained. “We had operational readiness inspections on, and had to load all bombers, to test our ability to respond to enemy threats with minimal notice.”

In 1982, following Hodge’s discharge from the Air force, he began his career as a temporary wage grade laborer with DLA.

“I felt there was something missing from my life, after leaving the Air Force. I no longer felt I had a mission to accomplish,” said Hodge. “Working at DLA gave me that opportunity again, and I have always been grateful for that.”

Shortly after his initial temporary hire, Hodge became a permanent wage grade employee fork life operator. Showing dedication and hard work, he was promoted to work leader in the Transportation Division of DLA Distribution Richmond, and in 1989 he was selected for the first supervisor intern class. A year later, he was promoted and found himself in charge of a military clothing warehouse in the Bulk Warehousing Division.

A few years down the road, in 1997, Hodge volunteered to be transferred to the mapping division of DLA Distribution Richmond.

Hodge was eventually promoted to inventory team leader in DLA Distribution Mapping Activity, followed by a promotion to map support office supply specialist, which allowed him to work closely with the MSO’s around the world, as well as with programmers to improve the distribution system used by those offices. Finally, in 2006, he was promoted to accountable officer for the mapping division.

Additionally, Hodge was selected to be one of two LEAN Champions, and was involved in many LEAN continuous improvement events and foundation events, to include a redesign of the primary work bay in DLA Distribution Richmond’s building 66.

With 42 years of federal service, Hodge advises those who have worked with and for him to constantly “look for opportunities to learn new things, to always be willing to learn and help others.”

Having been a federal employee for over four decades, not only has Hodge served as a mentor to those who follow him, and those just coming into federal service, he credits his long career to a lengthy list of mentors of his own. This list consists of a variety of people, including past and present DLA Distribution Richmond commanders, directors and deputies.

Hodge pinpointed the highlight of his career as the years he was most involved with LEAN. “We had great involvement from all employees and made great strides in improving how we do our jobs.”

“I want to thank my mentors for their patience and examples, and I certainly want to thank all of the employees who helped with our LEAN processes,” said Hodge. “We accomplished what we did because we did it as a team.”

As he moves on into retirement, Hodge states about the men and women of DLA, “they are dedicated to their jobs and supporting the mission of warfighters first.”

“Mr. Hodge, who retires July 31, after 42 years of dedicated federal service is the best of the best and will be greatly missed,” concluded DLA Distribution Richmond deputy director, Dave Gambrell.